New York City is home to some of the best sites, scenes and restaurants to appease both tourists and locals alike. Gone are the days when people only ate food because they were hungry. One of life’s essentials, having a meal, has now become a popular epicurean experience. In this article., let's find out the best restaurants in NYC. 

The city, teeming with life, is a diverse blend of cultures. Each has their unique traditions and food to match.

From the hot dog vendor at the street corner and the Deli at the end of the block to the fast food restaurants and gourmet meals in fancy establishments, New York City is your one-stop shop for experiencing diverse foods from all over the world.

Top Restaurants in New York City

NYC is a food lover’s paradise with a smorgasbord of choices that can overwhelm the mind. With so much to choose from, the curious tourist might be at a loss as to where to go to sample a delectable bite. If its memories you want to create that is lasting, then it is imperative that you begin with the best the city has to offer.

So, let us explore some of the best restaurants in NYC.

 Le Coucou

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Take a trip to Europe via your mouth and experience the very best of Parisian cuisine when you dine at Le Coucou restaurant in NYC. The ambiance in this establishment is an authentic creation with cream-colorred hats worn by chefs, elegant chandeliers dotting the ceiling, and a bar you can lounge at in true Parisian style.

This hot spot is located on Lafayette Street and serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. They specialize in old-school French cuisine. So you can expect to be treated to poached eggs and omelets with a variety of bread and croissants at breakfast.

Two-course entrees start at $54 per person. They feature specialties such as huitres, Granite aux Algues (oysters, seaweed and rice), Boudin “Les Aldudes,” blood sausage, piment d’Espelette and Tete de Veau a la Tomate Verte, fried veal head with a green tomato.

Dinnertime brings with it evenly sumptuous gourmet meals such as lobster bisque, Tout le Lapin (all of the rabbit), as well as Pigeon Grille a la Catalane (Catalan style pigeon).

Prices at le Coucou range from four to thirty dollars for breakfast, $54 entrée specials at lunch, and $13 to $98 for dinner. There are additional charges for extras.

Le Coucou is the big taste of Paris in a section of the city that is sure to have visitors coming back repeatedly. Its authenticity is unrivaled, and it stands as a leader in Parisian dining.

Roberta’s Pizza

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Not all dining experiences have to feature fancy linen and five-course meals for them to be exceptional. The rustic atmosphere at Roberta’s pizza makes pizza dinners an exceptional experience. It is located on Park Ave. and it is a place where you can get what is arguably the best pizza in NYC.

They are done to order in the original woodfire oven that sits in the main room.

The place has a ramshackle yet appealing appearance that will make you feel like you are visiting the family for a reunion. You can share picnic tables with the other guests neatly placed within the whitewashed brick, or dine ‘in the backyard’ around the big fire during wintertime.

No reservations are needed for this little getaway spot, and all walk-ins are welcomed.

They have several in-house specials such as Roberta’s bread and butter and Roberta’s Venison Finocchiona. You can also enjoy delicious, yet oddly named pizzas like Lil’ Stinker, Rob’s Rebellion, and ShroomsDay Device. They cater to small and large parties and are open for breakfast through to midnight.

Prices vary depending on orders but are affordably priced to suit every pocket.

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen

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The Four Horsemen is simply one of the best restaurants in NYC, and it is not because it is owned by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. Yes, this fact does help to create the buzz, but also the range of dishes served up at this haven in the Big Apple helps quite a bit.

They serve snacks, raw or cured meats and dinner plates to your liking. You can enjoy anything from salt cod fritters and oysters to spaghetti, main mussels, and roasted pork sausage.

What is especially great about The Four Horsemen is their weekend lunch special, which costs only $28 per dish.

The dishes constantly change but can include items such as steak au poivre, frisee salad, rolls and a Chess pie. It is always a surprise, which makes a stop here like a culinary adventure. It is also a treat for those persons who like authentic natural wines.

They maintain a wide selection of the best wines made from all-natural ingredients.

Upland

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If you want a taste of Californian cuisine, then Upland is the restaurant you want to visit. Chef Justin Smillie, renowned for his short ribs, is a whiz when it comes to anything beefy, pasta related, or with a vegetable accent.

You will feel like you took a trip back in time as you get seated at the wraparound booths with a view of the well-stocked bar in the background. You can savor from the starters to the entrees, all served with elegance and an urbane touch.

Among the best dishes are the crispy duck wings served with yuzu kosho complete with an entire fried hen-of-the-woods mushroom. These dishes are moderately priced as they endeavor to cater to all.

Polo Bar

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As the name suggests, the Polo Bar is a haven for the equine lover. Owned by the famous designer, Ralph Lauren, this restaurant is handsomely decorated with beautiful paintings of thoroughbreds located above the polished solid wood and saddle-leather seating.

It is located in Midtown, Manhattan and is a casual yet refined establishment.

What is special about this choice for the best restaurants in NYC is its menu, which is inspired by its owner’s favorites. There is everything from crab cakes and corned-beef sandwiches to the signature Polo Bar Burger. For dessert, you can enjoy Ralph’s Coffee Ice Cream, another favorite of his, which is made from his own custom coffee blend.

If you want to dine in a place where art and décor meet palate, then the Polo Bar should be your choice.

Le Bernardin

salmon and caviar

Le Bernardin, a true fish lover’s paradise is one of the best restaurants in NYC. It has been somewhat of a landmark establishment for decades. And it is also lauded by the New York Times as a restaurant with a four-star appeal.

Only recently redesigned, the interior showcases aquatic art with life-sized paintings on the wall that beckons to the sea lover.

You can taste of the spectacular dishes prepared by Chef Eric Ripert and his team of experts. Caviar and Caviar tartare is served for lunch at a cost of $155 per ounce, or you can choose a regularly priced lunch at $90 for a 3-course meal.

Dinner is a bit pricier, with the chef’s tasting costing $225 per person but $370 if paired with wine tasting. Salmon, tuna and fluke cost $24 but are only served in the lounge and not the main dining hall.

The elegance of the space is only bested by the meals prepared.

Olmsted

carrot crepe

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Native residents of Chicago will love dining at Olmsted. It has a flavor of home with a city appeal. It is dubbed the neighborhood restaurant long dreamed about. It fully represents this ideal by preparing meals with farm-grown foods and makes a kind donation of 5 percent of all profits to GrowNYC in a bid to help New Yorkers eat better.

This restaurant can be found in Brooklyn and whips up both snacks and dinner plates. You can water your taste buds with flavors from Dry Rubbed Scallops, Roasted and Grilled Duck, and Kale Crab Rangoon.

Guests here will especially love the carrot crepe and the English pea falafel. Meals are priced with the customer in mind, with the most expensive meal on the menu costing $23.

You can enjoy an evening out at this fine establishment that serves meals that are so breathtaking you cannot resist capturing it on film.

Charlie Bird

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If you envision a night out on the town sipping a glass of champagne and hanging out with friends, then Charlie Bird is the ideal restaurant in NYC.

Now featuring a patio, this restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serves a variety of meals that range from small plates like roasted octopus and chilled lobster to Rigatoni and crispy farm chicken. Each meal can be accented with top-shelf liquor and cocktails such as Bloody Mary and Whiskey Smash.

Favorites of this restaurant include the chicken liver mousse appetizer and the Farro salad, ultimate crowd pleasers. The prices at Charlie Bird are comparable to other restaurants in its class, with the most expensive meal rounding off at $24.

There is also an option for guests who prefer private dining, which accommodates up to 14 persons. The entire restaurant, nonetheless, is open to rental for larger events.

Ivan Ramen

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If you are not feeling for a heavy meal or an all-American sandwich, then Ivan Ramen is your best option for one of the noodles. It is available in one of two locations in the city. That is Ivan’s flagship restaurant, located in the heart of the city.

You get some delicious homemade noodles that tend to pull in the crowds.

With the crafted noodles, you can add your choice of meats and delicacies, such as Japanese fried chicken, crispy eggplant, or steamed pork buns. The noodles are either whole wheat or rye, catering to both meat and vegetarian lovers. You can savor the Spicy Red Chili Ramen, the Vegetarian Ramen or the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen.

You can also sample one of their specials such as the Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen. You can make a reservation, order online or drop by any of the locations around town.

Quality Eats

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Quality Eats is one of the best restaurants in NYC when you have an overwhelming desire for steak. You do not have to dish out a fortune to enjoy the sumptuous meals provided by this quaint establishment set in West Village or the Upper East Side.

It is considered the future of NYC steakhouses and serves up everything red meat.

Even though their speciality is steak, you can also treat your taste buds to other delights. This includes salmon green goddess, grilled octopus and lemon-charred chicken. You will not spend more than $39 for an entrée. This grants you more choices to select from the starter menu and dessert selections.

Sushi Nakazawa

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If you are in the mood for a high-end Japanese meal served by a celebrity chef, you will want to visit Sushi Nakazawa. This restaurant is situated on Commerce Street, NYC and is one of the best spots for fish done to perfection.

Chef Nakazawa takes great pride in his craft, serving only the freshest fish found in local waters, but done within the Edomae sushi style. While you wait for your meal to be prepared, you will also be educated about its origins as you relax in high-backed chairs.

They boast a wide selection of seafood including salmon, mackerel, Dungeness crab and Japanese sea urchin. If you love seafood meals, then visit this Aquatic Paradise.

The meals at this restaurant may be a little bit pricey, but for the service, it may well be worth the trip.

Go Out and Sample Foods from the Best Restaurants in NYC

New York City has a lot to offer by way of sights and scenes. It delivers as well when it comes to dining.

This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a representation of some of the best spots you can find to cater to whatever flavor, dish or dining experience you prefer. From Parisian, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Thai and Korean, you will never run out of options when you need a lovely epicurean experience.

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